I am not good at leveraging my contacts for personal advancement. For example, have tried (and failed to this point many times in my ambitions) to talk up my book co-translation to friends or acquaintances, hoping that someone will be both intrigued by the story and have the means or method themselves to see it into print. But if my selfish efforts have heretofore yielded nothing, I continue to hope that my contacts will prove fruitful to advance the causes and careers of my friends. So, with this in mind, I wrote a brief note to a fellow former Georgetown Russianist, who at our last meeting I found had been promoted to a major role in admissions processing at a well-known medical school where a friend of mine is now trying to gain admittance. I was pleased to receive a prompt response, but from one of his former colleagues, to whom he had forwarded my message. It turns out that the fellow I know, in the four years since our last interaction, had left his lucrative career and taken a new name as a brother in a Roman Catholic holy order!
Far be it from me to criticize vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience chosen at forty for the cause of Christ--we PCA Presbyterians don't maintain the infrastructure to institutionalize this, but as a lifetime celibate myself, I appreciate the formal support. Still, I found it amusingly fitting that my attempted use of what used to be called my Rolodex should come to such a monastic end. The colleague who responded in the Brother's stead was kind, though, and I hope she will be able to help my friend. His MCAT score is golden, but his undergraduate grades reflect inconsistent class attendance when he was a youth!